All-girls high school. Sounds like a nightmare, right? It wasn't. Spending every day with girls taught me a lot about myself. I learned to be independent. I learned to be strong. I learned to value myself. I formed some of my strongest friendships at Mother McAuley. I moved half way across the country where I didn't know anybody because my high school encouraged me. My teachers pushed me to work hard and believed in me, so I believed in myself. Now, I'm living my dream. This is the same story for hundreds of girls who have walked in the doors of Mother McAuley. Here are a few tell-tale signs you or a girl you know went to Mother McAuley:

1. McAuley Buns:

The hairstyle that includes big, not brushed, very messy and probably greasy hair. You know exactly what I’m talking about. You know you still wear them out or wish you could without being judged.

2. All the t-shirts:

You definitely have one drawer, if not more, dedicated to t-shirts from high school, whether it be home room spirit wear, a sports team, or a random class you made a shirt for. MACs Ltd was always way too expensive though so you only bought things when they went on sale or they were having a garage sale of t-shirts.

3. Jesus Aerobics:

I’m sure you can all hear Mr. Rabe screaming, “MATTHEW, MARK, LUKE, AND JOHN, WORK THE FAT UNTIL IT’S GONE.” We all felt silly doing it in his class, but give us a pep rally and we worked out like we never have before.

4. Mass:

Is it hot in here or is it just me? You, or a girl you knew, had to be taken to the nurse for fainting. Everyone else then watched the teachers frantically open the gym windows so nobody else did.

5. Dress Down Days:

Ah, the days where you never had a writing utensil. The day you angrily handed over the $2.00 it cost to dress down and then apologized to Catherine McAuley for being angry because you knew it was going to a good cause.

6.Mercy Day:

The one day you looked forward to dressing up because it meant a half day and lots of singing and dancing. You know you're singing the song in your head right now. THIS IS WHY WE TELL THE STORY. WHY WE TELL THE STORY.

7.Sports:

Whether it’s traveling to Normal-Bloomington for a championship volleyball game, traveling to Orland Park to cheer on the basketball team, or heading behind the school to watch our soccer and softball teams, the Mighty Macs always draw a large, supportive crowd. You know you miss donning your favorite red and yellow spirit wear. Besides, who doesn't love a McAuley-Marist showdown?

8. Confidence:

You received a lifetime advantage by attending McAuley. You did not fear judgment from boys in the classroom, had teachers who you consider friends now and were given the opportunities to expand your horizons in order to be the best possible version of you

9. Kairos:

The retreat you waited all four years to go on. The one weekend you wish you could go back to. The best group of friends you could ever wish for. Shout out to K113!

10. Home:

You still talk to the girl you sat next to on the first day of orientation freshman year. You found a family within the walls of Mother McAuley whether it be on stage, in the gym, or simply in the halls.

Mother McAuley provided me with endless opportunities and challenges. Not only did I learn inside the classroom, I learned outside in the hallways. I learned to be a friend. I learned to be myself. I learned to trust and love. Not every day was perfect, but I would not trade my time at Mother McAuley for anything else. Mother McAuley truly does provide a lifetime advantage